palephant
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by palephant)
Hello, I wanted other people's opinions on whether I should take 3 or 4 alevels? I would like to take biology, chemistry and maths if I'm doing 3, as well as either geography or psychology if I'm doing four. I'm not aiming to get into a top university, but would like to be ahead of others when applying since medicine is v competitive. I'm also not sure whether it will be too much work for me, and whether the 4 alevels are connected enough. My mom wants me to do 4 (but I'm still indicisive about it), and wants me to pick economics as the 4th course? I really don't know what I want to do.
nope med schools only require 3.
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casabonita
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i usually think that unless the 4th a level is further maths, it doesn't give u much of an advantage to take an extra one. but i'd say go for it if you think you can handle the work and because you'd enjoy learning about the 4th subject - if it's just on the basis of looking good, i'd say just take 3, and spend that extra time reading and preparing for entrance exams a medicine related epq would also be interesting. i guess psychology can relate to medicine, but the other two seem a bit irrelevant, so there wouldn't be much point to it. people with only 3 a levels get into oxbridge medicine, so i wouldnt worry.
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by palephant)
Hello, I wanted other people's opinions on whether I should take 3 or 4 alevels? I would like to take biology, chemistry and maths if I'm doing 3, as well as either geography or psychology if I'm doing four. I'm not aiming to get into a top university, but would like to be ahead of others when applying since medicine is v competitive. I'm also not sure whether it will be too much work for me, and whether the 4 alevels are connected enough. My mom wants me to do 4 (but I'm still indicisive about it), and wants me to pick economics as the 4th course? I really don't know what I want to do.
Hey palephant

I would recommend doing 3 A-levels and getting really good grades in them all rather than doing 4 and not having enough time to study for all 4 and not doing as well.
All unis now look for 3 A-levels so there's no need to do a fourth

Hope this helps!
Eloise - Official Student Rep
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palephant
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(Original post by casabonita)
i usually think that unless the 4th a level is further maths, it doesn't give u much of an advantage to take an extra one. but i'd say go for it if you think you can handle the work and because you'd enjoy learning about the 4th subject - if it's just on the basis of looking good, i'd say just take 3, and spend that extra time reading and preparing for entrance exams a medicine related epq would also be interesting. i guess psychology can relate to medicine, but the other two seem a bit irrelevant, so there wouldn't be much point to it. people with only 3 a levels get into oxbridge medicine, so i wouldnt worry.
I need to reply in a few days time and I think I'll go with 3, thank you for your advice!
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casabonita
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(Original post by palephant)
I need to reply in a few days time and I think I'll go with 3, thank you for your advice!
good idea! that subject combo seems perfect for medicine anyway
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palephant
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hey palephant

I would recommend doing 3 A-levels and getting really good grades in them all rather than doing 4 and not having enough time to study for all 4 and not doing as well.
All unis now look for 3 A-levels so there's no need to do a fourth

Hope this helps!
Eloise - Official Student Rep
I think I'm going to go for the 3 a levels, thank you!
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Sinnoh
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4 A-levels instead of 3 won't give you a worthwhile advantage (if any). Use the time you save by working on the BMAT and/or UCAT.
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St George's, University of London
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(Original post by palephant)
Hello, I wanted other people's opinions on whether I should take 3 or 4 alevels? I would like to take biology, chemistry and maths if I'm doing 3, as well as either geography or psychology if I'm doing four. I'm not aiming to get into a top university, but would like to be ahead of others when applying since medicine is v competitive. I'm also not sure whether it will be too much work for me, and whether the 4 alevels are connected enough. My mom wants me to do 4 (but I'm still indicisive about it), and wants me to pick economics as the 4th course? I really don't know what I want to do.
Hey!

So I was in a similar situation. I did 4 AS levels: biology, chemistry, maths and psychology. And then I dropped the psychology at A2. I think psychology has been really useful so far, because it gives you insight into how people think. Something that is super important when you speak to patients and HOW to actually speak to patients. Also it gives you a slight advantage when it comes to the psych module that your future University may have. For example, St. George's has a PPD module which looks at people and population development. I am also intercalating right now in Neuroscience and having some background knowledge about psychology has been so invaluable.

With this being said though I know a few people who did geography as well. I would suggest seeing what you want to do rather than listen to other people, purely because at the end of the day you will be doing all the work and it can be a lot of pressure if you didn't make the decision yourself.

4 A levels can be an advantage to an extent, but please don't make this at the expense of yourself!

Good luck and I hope this answer gives you some clarity. If you have any further questions do let me know and I will be more than happy to help!

Best Wishes,
MJ
4th Year MBBS
Official Uni Rep St. George's
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Digybfhgjt
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hey palephant

I would recommend doing 3 A-levels and getting really good grades in them all rather than doing 4 and not having enough time to study for all 4 and not doing as well.
All unis now look for 3 A-levels so there's no need to do a fourth

Hope this helps!
Eloise - Official Student Rep
What if I do 4 A levels and still manage to get 4A*/A is that good? Like I did my biology and chemistry and mathematics AS level and I would like to complete it next year. I am also thinking of taking A level arabic. Would that be of any help? I want to study medicine
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St George's, University of London
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(Original post by Digybfhgjt)
What if I do 4 A levels and still manage to get 4A*/A is that good? Like I did my biology and chemistry and mathematics AS level and I would like to complete it next year. I am also thinking of taking A level arabic. Would that be of any help? I want to study medicine
Hey!

Getting all A*/As is obviously amazing but I think what Eloise is saying is that it's better to have good grades in 3 A levels than less than As - especially if you want to do Medicine. However, this is all dependent on which medical school you apply to. There are some medical schools who need 4 As, and if you don't have that then you'd need a really good UKCAT.

So it is a little bit of a risk but if you think that you can do it and are confident then why not! Just make sure you are not overwhelming yourself with it all because 4 A levels will be a lot of work and it's also important to take time to yourself to have a bit of a breather too. If you want to go into medicine then this will be really really important - work life balance is key!

I hope this helps and do let me know if you have any further queries!

Best Wishes,
MJ
4th Year MBBS
Official Uni Rep St George's
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Digybfhgjt
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#12
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(Original post by St George's, University of London)
Hey!

Getting all A*/As is obviously amazing but I think what Eloise is saying is that it's better to have good grades in 3 A levels than less than As - especially if you want to do Medicine. However, this is all dependent on which medical school you apply to. There are some medical schools who need 4 As, and if you don't have that then you'd need a really good UKCAT.

So it is a little bit of a risk but if you think that you can do it and are confident then why not! Just make sure you are not overwhelming yourself with it all because 4 A levels will be a lot of work and it's also important to take time to yourself to have a bit of a breather too. If you want to go into medicine then this will be really really important - work life balance is key!

I hope this helps and do let me know if you have any further queries!

Best Wishes,
MJ
4th Year MBBS
Official Uni Rep St George's
Yes of course I understand what you are saying. 3 good grades are more valuable than 4 normal or bad grades but my point is what subject do I take as my 4th one. Like a subject other than physics because I think physics would be too much pressure that would be mean I’ll do BiO A2, Chem A2, Math A2, Phy AS and Phy A2. So I think doing physics will really lower my other grades. So I want to take a simpler subject. Will arabic be of any use in the application process?
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St George's, University of London
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(Original post by Digybfhgjt)
Yes of course I understand what you are saying. 3 good grades are more valuable than 4 normal or bad grades but my point is what subject do I take as my 4th one. Like a subject other than physics because I think physics would be too much pressure that would be mean I’ll do BiO A2, Chem A2, Math A2, Phy AS and Phy A2. So I think doing physics will really lower my other grades. So I want to take a simpler subject. Will arabic be of any use in the application process?
Hey Digybfhgjt ,


So it depends between universities - some universities say that it must be a science subject (but remember this often includes psychology and social sciences so these are options) where other universities don't mind the subject and say it can be anything (normally except General Studies and Critical Thinking). It would be worth researching the universities that you think you'd be interested in and taking the option that you think you could manage but also that keeps your options the most open.

Hope that helps!
Lauren
2nd Year Biomedical Science Student
SGUL Official Rep
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